3.8.2 Asset ID Numbering

In developing an asset inventory, it is critical to develop a unique asset identification number (Asset ID) for each and every asset in the inventory. This number can be anything, as long as it is unique; however, it is preferable to use a "smart" numbering system. The smart numbering system can contain identification information for location, equipment type, equipment function, and specific piece of equipment. The numbering system should be consistent throughout a facility and should be easily and quickly recognized by facility personnel.

The numbering scheme should be developed by the individuals who will have to use it most, or at least should be developed with input from these individuals. In some facilities, a small number of individuals will need to be familiar with the ID numbering scheme or understand it, while in larger facilities, multiple people or departments will need to understand and use the scheme.

The task of developing an asset ID numbering system can seem simple, but in practice can be quite complex. It may be necessary to revise the system a few times before it is satisfactory. The best approach is to think about what should be accomplished with the numbering system, discuss different approaches, select an approach, and then do a pilot project to see if it will work properly. The pilot project should include a small subset of the overall assets from different parts of the facility to determine if the numbering system that was selected will work. If the numbering scheme does not perform adequately, it can be modified to solve the issues and the pilot can be repeated.